"Saying Is Not Doing" - Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32

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When our family arrived in the new town in which my dad was to be pastor, I accidentally learned something one day while checking out the new church. I was just kind of wandering around when I saw an elderly couple (in truth they might have been my current age, but from the perspective of a 10 year old they seemed ancient) working at something in the kitchen in the basement of the church. They were surprised to see me, but the lady was very nice and asked who I was, and when she found out seemed happy to meet me. The gentlemen said nothing. His name was Bill and hers was Esther. They were polishing all the brass fixtures of the church, and there were many.

Over the next few months, I saw them off and on, more Bill than Esther…except in worship. Bill spent many hours at the church but never seemed to go to worship. Eventually, he would speak to me a bit and when he was doing things, he would ask for little things, like “hand me that shovel,” and one day, he even said, “well, if you’re going to stand there watching me, you might as well help”, and I began to happily sweep the floor.

Several months passed, and there was a volunteer recognition Sunday…all the names of the people were printed in the bulletin. Everyone, except Bill. I asked my dad why Bill wasn’t in there? Dad was at a loss, because in this tent-making ministry, he spent more time at the local high school than he did at the church.

In this sermon we’ll explore how God sees what we profess about our service to God’s people. Are we doing what we say we will do?

~Pr. Luther